Some good news here for the Yankees’ rotation.
MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports that right-hander Michael Pineda threw a successful simulated game on Tuesday afternoon in front of manager Joe Girardi and has been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment later this week. The date and location for Pineda’s rehab debut has not yet been determined.
Pineda hasn’t thrown a pitch in a major league game since being suspended for pine tar use in late April. He suffered a teres major muscle strain in a side session while serving out that 10-game punishment and has experienced more than one setback. The Yankees are hoping that he’s finally past the complications.
Pineda had a 1.83 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 15/3 K/BB ratio in 19 2/3 innings (four starts) this season for New York before hitting the shelf and could provide a big boost for the Yankees’ staff down the stretch.
2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.
One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.
The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.